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Old 08-12-2012, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Wyeast Greenbelt bag not swelling.....

...after about three hours of smacking the nutrient pack I have minimal swelling of the bag. I'm worried that it's a crappy batch. should I be worried - I'm gonna pitch any how and monitor.
Any insight from folks out there? Thanks

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Old 08-12-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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This is why you should always use a starter with liquid yeast. That way you know your yeast is viable when you pitch it. If you're not going to do a starter shake it up some more and move it to a warm area for another hour and see what happens.

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Old 08-12-2012, 09:16 PM   #3
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If it has been handled with some care, then it is fine. The only way that you'd have a problem is if it got hot or was really old.

Some swell quickly and some take a long time. Swelling isn't an indicator of the yeast health.

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Old 08-12-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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I once had a smack-pack that I smacked the crap out of a couple of times, and THOUGHT that the inner pouch was opened FOR SURE. The pack only swelled slightly in 4 hours at room temp after taking it out of the fridge. When I went to pitch the yeast, I discovered that the inner pouch was still intact. I poured the yeast, removed the nutrient pouch, cut it open with sanitized scissors, and poured the nutrient into the wort also. The batch fermented completely normally. I suspect you have a very good chance that the yeast will work just fine. Yeast are pretty hardy little buggers.

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Old 08-12-2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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+1 to making a starter, always make a starter with liquid yeast. Not only are you verifying the yeast's vitality you are also growing yeast to the appropriate pitch rate. Go to Www.yeastcalc.com
And plug in the numbers, making a starter is easy and one of the most beneficial things you can do when brewing with liquid yeast!

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Old 08-13-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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my last pack of greenbelt didn't show any signs of fermentation on the stirplate after 24 hours.

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Old 08-13-2012, 06:08 PM   #7
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+1 on the starter, but in this case you could pitch it and see what happens. I had an English Witbread yeast not swell and I pitched it after 24 hours with great results. As long as your temps are fine give it a pitch, relax, don't worry, and have a home brew.

That's been my experience, anyway.

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Old 11-23-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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I made a starter using Greenbelt last night and noticed that the yeast inside the pack smelled very tart, almost a sour flavor. I thought it smelled good, rather interesting, but I've never had a yeast pack smell like that and was wondering if this is common for this yeast? My starter has been going for 16 hours and very little signs of anything on my stir plate.

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Old 11-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slogger
...after about three hours of smacking the nutrient pack I have minimal swelling of the bag. I'm worried that it's a crappy batch. should I be worried - I'm gonna pitch any how and monitor.
Any insight from folks out there? Thanks
It's not necessary for the bag to swell a lot or even at all. Really it's not even necessary to smack it. What's important is getting your pitching rate where you want it. Starters are, as others have said, great ideas.

Yeast that is old or mishandled will not be as viable as fresh yeast, but a starter can often bring an old or abused packet back from its near-death-experience.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slogger View Post
Any insight from folks out there? Thanks

Into what gravity of wort are you pitching this smack pack? What is the date on the pack?

Like has already been said (and you will no doubt hear again)-------STARTER.

If you're not willing to make starters, you either should buy multiple packs ($$ cha-ching!) or use dry yeast which has an abundance of cells in an 11g packet to cover anything up to a 1.060ish 5-gallon batch.

To get an idea about how much yeast is really needed for a particular batch, take a look here: http://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-p...er-calculator/
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